Hillary Clinton: the first female presidential nominee in the United States. What an astounding achievement! Whether you like Hillary or not, there is no denying that her passion, hard work and expertise have all aligned to help get her where she stands today. She has, of course, had other tools at her disposal, such as wealth, power and Bill Clinton by her side, and lets not forget, fashion.
Hillary hasn’t always used this last tool to her advantage; often, quite on the contrary. She has been through quite a style roller-coaster ride over the years, adapting and changing in every political role she’s held, but not always successfully. From ball gowns to padded shoulders, to pantsuits and now a toned-down version of a formal business look (which is certainly a reflection of her personal brand as presidential nominee), her style evolution has certainly been an interesting one.
Needless to say, the fashion and general appearance of celebrities, politicians and the like are constantly under a microscopic lens when it comes to the media. In particular, women are scrutinized on a whole other level, down to the buttons on their jacket or even what they use to tie their hair. This is why it is so crucial, at this tipping point, that Hillary pay extra close attention to what she decides to wear as she addresses the nation; which is why she has Anna Wintour on board.
Anna Wintour, arguably the worlds most famous “stylist” (her official title is editor-in-chief of Vogue magazine), does not typically act as “personal stylist” to the stars; no, she has much more important matters to attend. However, as an avid democratic supporter, Anna has been helping Hillary throughout the campaign, mostly by contacting designers overseas and providing Hillary with outfits (which Hillary pays for herself – a risky move in the political world). Hillary, likely with the help of Anna, has taken a step back from pantsuits and has started donning a more “stylish” wardrobe. Pantsuits are arguably a power look, especially for women. They have done their duty for Hillary, helping her land the presidential nomination. They have served their purpose, but at some point, it’s time to move on (or rather, move up). One of the reasons why the potential move-away from pantsuits occurred is simply that they complimented Hillary’s often cool, straight-to-the-point personality a little too well. Many people have expressed views that Hillary is fake, cold and insincere, and despite their often-bright colours, the pantsuits weren’t necessarily helping. There was, and is, a need for Hillary to start showing us who she is by what she wears; yes, her brand is that of a powerful female politician, however in order for America to elect a politician, they must first trust them. They can’t possibly trust them if they don’t know who they are.
There is so much in an outfit. One item of clothing is one word in your sentence, and it is the whole outfit that gives us your whole sentence. So what is Hillary telling us? What are you telling the world around you? Sometimes thought as superficial, fashion and clothing go a long way to creating our brand, to telling our story, and to helping us reach our potential. Fashion is a tool: we may as well use it to our advantage!